DIY musicians now to earn more than $2 billion a year from recorded music, music publishing income, live performance fees, merchandise sales, and other income.
Music industry analysts MIDiA recently estimated that DIY and self-releasing artists earned $643 million in recorded music revenue in 2018. In a new Rolling Stone piece, MBW’s Tim Ingram looked at more recent data from DIY distributors including Tunecore, CD Baby, DistroKid and Ditto and added $100 million in DIY publishing revenue, to estimate a total earned by DIY artists of $1 billion in 2019.
But neither of those estimates include live performance fees, merchandise sales and other sources of income for DIY musicians.
Various estimates show that the average artist makes between 50% and 65% of their total income from live performance-related income alone, adding at least another $1 billion in revenue to the DIY total.
This surge past $2 billion in DIY music revenue is not lost on the rest of the music industry, with countless startups and even the major labels all hoping to serve and profit from the sector.
For the labels, that’s meant offering more artist services and investing in independent distribution. But the real growth is being driven by streaming, DIY digital distribution and tech-based artist services like Bandcamp and Bandzoogle that are helping hundreds of thousands turn their DIY music dreams into businesses.